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Rafa too strong for Roger

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posted Jun 5, 2007

An interesting match in many respects. Though Federer's performance in Set 2 was very worrying, he can't afford to make those kind of mistakes in the semis or final, the overall match was very encouraging. To come back from that kind of lapse with the stunning play he brought forward in Sets 3 and 4 is extremely enocuraging. The level of game he brought to bear then is the kind of game which could win him this title. And finally he has been challenged in a way that will help him build up his level of play.

33 winners in the match, even minus the 3 winners from the set he lost that's more than in any match he's played so far.

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comment by Fedlove (U7237118)

posted Jun 5, 2007

"...with a straight-sets win over Tommy Robredo..."

Nice one, Piers. doh

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Presumably he's already written that bit before the match started laugh

More a slightly-bent sets win.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Blimey, you lot don't hang around do you? It was of course a four-set win. Well spotted everyone.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

That was too sweet!!! Piers is still human.
I have a feeling Fed used Rob for some kinda test - to see if he can organise some form of recovery if necessary. Just a romantic thought though, but if u consider the levels of play in sets 1,3& 4, you can't help but hink like that. His match against Davydenko will be a sweet match to watch; not one to be missed for the world. Imma take the afternoon, morning, whenever off for sure!!!
This RG is veeery different. Vamos Rafa, Allez Roger!!

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comment by Khannos (U8571286)

posted Jun 5, 2007

All of Nadal's fans, dont just jump to conclusions, the Mighty Fed has got a ton of energy left in his reserve tank and he can bring it on whenever he wants 2. Ok he thought Tommy Robredo as the name suggests is a dobberman whom he can take for a walk in the park & the canine barked a bit, but the Mighty Fed came out tops. Nikolay will be given the gate pass to go out of RG y2k7 in about 48 hrs. As for Sunday, it will be close to 5 sets. Nothing can be said as of now. It is anyone's cup. But dont gloat too much over Nadal. Fed wins on ALL surfaces. One Youzhny is enough 2 smoke away Nadal on a hard court.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Am wondering if any other man has ever reached at least 12 consecutive semi-finals in consecutive Grand Slam tournaments. I know Federer has the Open era record for men, but before then? Anyone know?

M.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Wouldn't you love to know what on earth is going on with Federer when he plays like he did in the second set.Its hard to watch him play so badly.I hope that was getting the kinks out of the system before the big match,otherwise Roger may not make it to the finals.Amazing to watch the difference in his level during that match.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Federer just looked a bit in practice. He went off in the second set, but may be it was a bit of a test for him to see if he is ready in case of any of that in the future. Once he kept his foot on the gas he was off like a....... not sure what to say though.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

The records seems to be coming Federer's way once more. How many consecutive major semi's here, i don't know as that is for the statisticians.

What Federer is doing on clay is not bad for a player on his least liked surface, 3 consecutive semis here is'nt that bad or is it?

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Everyone was talking up Canas and what happened to him? Davydenko will be a step up for the Swiss maestro, and he'll have to raise his game again to overcome him. Much as I hate to say it, I still can't see past Rafa for the title though.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Federer's own post-match analysis was that he was hitting too flat for the windy conditions in the second set. So he adjusted his game in the third and fourth.

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comment by Tejay (U8565716)

posted Jun 5, 2007

It seems Robredo was matching Roger from the baseline department..crucial difference was Roger's serve.
That's one component of his game that is more superior to most players. Second set kind of proves it.

N.Davdenko gave Nadal run for his money in Rome, so tomorrow will be interesting..

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comment by nuilix (U7715255)

posted Jun 5, 2007

Fed proved once more he could achieve brilliancy even on clay.Robredo got thrashed in the third and fourth sets.Fed came out with the whole variety of shots:spin volley,massive forehand,crosscourt backhand,excellent serve and dropshot.The guy is definitely impressive, even if he missed the second set,due to windy conditions and Rob step,as he stepping up a gear, as he said in his aftermatch interview.

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comment by nuilix (U7715255)

posted Jun 5, 2007

and Rob stepping up a gear as he...sorry about my typing.Forgot to delete a passage.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Federer on top form against Nadal on top form could be one of the best finals in memory. Lets hope it happens.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Assuming Federer and Nadal make it to the finals...

For Federer to win:
- Have >60% first serve percentage
- Winners > Unforced erros
- >50% break-point conversion "efficiency"
- High # of points played & won at net

Otherwise Nadal will win

Just as last year...federer looks good in every match...and it comes down to "match-up" against Nadal and how he executes.

Default position is that Nadal wins...unless Federer can be aggressive, reduce errors and play at peak level through the match.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

I agree. davydenko can be vyr dangerous. he played very well so far. he beat the likes of nalbandian and guille. still, I don't think he can beat the arrogant swiss. I think that the h2h record is 9-0 for federer. it's always tough mentally to play against a player that beat u 9 times in a row. oh canas canas!!! I was cheering him on all the way. but he didn't do it. I'm sure if guille had advanced to the semis, he would have beaten federer. he can beat federer even when federer plays well. I'm very disappointed cos I really was counting on the argentinian fighter to crush fed.
but now. well. I hope nadal reach the final and thrash the swiss.
after the loss of canas, only rafa can beat fed.
vamos rafa!!!
crush fed!!!

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comment by Colorao (U7323979)

posted Jun 5, 2007

Well, ElFenomeno, we can say that things just went the way they were supposed to go...one thing that we tennis fans can count on is Federer and Nadal living up to their expectations...I thought that Federer was fantastic and anyone can have a bad set, especially after so many consecutive wins in majors...

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posted Jun 5, 2007

how is being 1-1 in sets an "first threat of an upset"? Surely being 2sets to love down is more of a threat. Again more biased.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

elfenomeno_9 what fairy tale have you been reading? Canas crush fed? What a joke lol. He couldnt even get past gollum lol. Poor gollum tho......Now if plays the king of tennis who literally owns him.

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posted Jun 5, 2007

Yes, I am wondering too... How is 1-1 in sets an "first threat of an upset"?

This is the amazing thing with Federer. He gets broken many more times than say a Sampras. But he wins matches so lopsidedly in constrast with again Sampras who won so many close 4 and 5 setters (with many sets ending in tie breaks).

What that tells is how much more often Fed breaks his opponents. No matter how hard they serve or how well they play from the baseline. If there is one secret to Fed's record breaking performances that must be it.

But there's more. Fed doesnt even convert 50% of his break points often. That shows how many break points he creates. If his conversion rate improves slightly (being more aggressive on break points) then he wins matches even more easily.

Also, his serve percentage. He doesn't depend on his first serve as Sampras or Roddick would. He has the confidence to win matches even with a 20% serve percentage. That shows how well his rest of the game is. But if can serve consistently in the 60-70% range (atleast on clay), there is no stopping Fed. Even if the great Nadal is on the other end.

All the above may not happen. But it shows how much room is there is for Fed to improve. That's scary indeed.

Another thing is not talked about much. Nadal is clearly well on his way to becoming the greatest clay court player of all time (and more). Had he not be around, Fed would have won two French Opens already as he has routinely beaten the usual great clay courters.

Same with Nadal. Fed is well on his way to becoming the greatest player of all time. Had he not be around, Nadal would have been the first to win both a French and Wimbledon since Borg, and become the clear #1 for the last two years and for the next 6 or 7.

The only other time there's been any competition anywhere close to this is briefly when Borg,McEnroe, and Lendl were the top 3 players in the world.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

Nadal on clay is possibly the best player I've ever seen. I cannot see Federer beating him unless something freakish occurs. Mentally they're both very tough, obviuously, but Rafa has a mental steeliness and will to win that few have ever possessed.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

Mental steeliness and will to win..... I wonder how Federer has won 10 grandslams so far... now let me think........

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posted Jun 6, 2007

I'm looking forward to Sunday's match...I wish Canas had won; a semi match between him and Federer would have been interesting.

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comment by shivfan (U2435266)

posted Jun 6, 2007

I can't see any of the players left in the draw preventing another Nadal-Federer final....

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posted Jun 6, 2007

Me neither, let's hope it's a cracker. Federer sneaking the first set might set up a classic. Fast forward to weekend please...

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posted Jun 6, 2007

hahahahahaha!! u fed fans make me laugh. how quickly u forget!!! remember when the ll canas beat bet oh sorry crushed ur "number one" in hard courts in indian wells. just look at the scoreboards! please! federer was so arrogant that he was playing only to break records. canas proved that it was no surprise when he beat fed in miami in a bit more difficult match. in miami, federer cudnt fake injury like he did in indian wells and there was no streak or record in the line.
federer can be beaten. even in this weak era, there r players like gasquet, nadal berdych, canas volandri murray who can beat federer, some of them even did that easily. the talent is there, but players have to believe and forget their h2h recors against federer.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

I agree that people have built up Canas absurdly into some incredible player who should be fancied agianst Federer, he's a good player, but Federer was not anywhere near his best in the two matches Canas beat him, so let's abandon that fallacy. Federer would have been an enormous favourite whoever won the Canas-Davydenko encounter, though I too would have liked Canas to win as with the past history it would have made a more interesting semi.

Nadal on Clay is still, in my opinion, weaker than Federer on Grass, or other past champions like Sampras on Grass. Watching them play on both surfaces, there is a genius to Federer's grass court play that Nadal doesn't possess to the same degree on Clay, he wins through most of all by ruthless aggression and ability.

It will be a classic final if they both make it there.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

If Nadal and Federer both get into the final it will be a repeat of their past encounters in Paris. Federer has to somehow change his game plan because staying back and exchanging shots from the baseline is just not going to work. Nadal is a work horse on clay and his unorthodox and heavy top spin shots will be the cause of Federers ultimate defeat should they meet in the final.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

Personally speaking I think Nadal will be viewed by history as another "flash in the pan";these so called clay court specialists are ascendant for a brief period and on the tennis world stage do not achieve the heights of the truly great,all round tennis players.
Raffa may have dominated completely on the clay courts;when he starts to lose on this surface he will be exposed as a limited player.
Remember when pundits predicted world domination for Roddick?

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posted Jun 6, 2007

I agree that Nadal has to be the favourite at RG just as Federer is at Wimbledon. If we're talking about their favourite surfaces, why bring Rafa's performance on hard courts into the discussion?
As for Canas, he beat a below par Federer on hard courts, so he probably wouldn't have troubled the great man now he's rediscovered his form. Good to see Roger returning to winning ways, and I hope for another classic Federer-Nadal final!

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comment by Fedlove (U7237118)

posted Jun 6, 2007

This assertion that Rafa is better on clay than Federer is on grass is a little sily, IMO.

That is not to dismiss Nadal’s considerable abilities on the red stuff – the guy is just awesome, no question.

But Federer on grass is just something else altogether.

For starters, most reliable commentators on the sport agree that to dominate on grass requires a level up in terms of technique than any other surface. Both the serve and ground strokes have to be hit with more accuracy. It’s no coincidence that ALL of the game’s great players, certainly true of the Open Era, have dominated at Wimbledon for a time.

It’s also the case that Nadal has had few clay court “specialists” to contend with over the ;last two years, (only Federer has given anything approaching trouble consistently, and the general consensus is that RG s his least favorite GS), whereas Federer has beaten all and sundry, including players who are very well suited to the surface – The Scud, Roddick, Sampras, etc.

And then there’s the tennis itself. I have never seen such a variety of shots performed by ANY player, certainly with the ludicrous level of consistency and frequency that Federer is capable of.

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comment by shariqh (U8421144)

posted Jun 6, 2007

I dont think rafa is a 'flash in the pan'. If he was so, he wud not have won 85 out of his previous 86 matches on clay and more importantly he wud not have reached the wimbledon finals last year(remember he took one set against fedex in that match).... for his age he is much better than those 'flash in a pan' kind of players, though fedex is in a different league altogether. Anyways do you foresee any upset of fedex against davydenko... davy was awesome against Canas. his speed is what surprised me... Lets hope we dont see any surprises until sunday atleast.....

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posted Jun 6, 2007

I really hope Fed wins come Sunday.... I don't care if people say nadal is better, (I don't agree!) but Nadal certainly does not play attractive tennis. Big baseline top spin is not good to watch. Mush rather see varied base line play, (Slice, top spin and very flat) a brilliant net game and a remarkable service truimph! Nadal is boring!!

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posted Jun 6, 2007

did federer reach wimbledon final when he was 20? did federer reac qfs in all majors when he was 20? did he win 3 master series on hard courts when he was 20. the answer is no. he even didn't dream of doing theat.
I don't want to talk about nadal's achievements on clay. but for all those who say that nadal is only a clay specialist. just look at his achievements in other surfaces! he just turned 21 3 days ago. yes, he wins most of his titles on clay, but he has already achieved brilliantly on other surfaces. many criticised him cos he lost in the qf in the us open and australia. please, dont underestimate that. for a clay specialist to accompish that in such a young age, it's extraordinary.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

Elfenomeno, I think your comments are somewhat divorced from reality. Again, you reiterate support for the weak-era argument (see comprehensive destruction by plenty of people on these forums elsewhere). You also endorse this 'its just that people don't think they can beat Federer' argument, against dealt with adequately elsewhere. To suggest that Federer 'faked' injury at Indian Wells, is a school-yard like comment, as is your commentary on the previous Canas matches.

I would agree, solely, however, on the point that Federer probably went into the Canas matches too casually and underestimated his opponent. This is a recurring dilemma of great players in every sport which is understandable, but no less indictable. Like all dominant players in sports, Federer's ability is so good that overconfidence and, in a broader sense, psychological problems, are more likely to trip him up than poor technical play.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

FED LOVE
TELL ME PLEASE! HOW OLD WAS PETE WHEN FEDERER BEAT HIM IN WIMBLEDON IN 5 SETS!
CIAO

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posted Jun 6, 2007

Amazing! So much of a discussion about Roger and Rafael, is taking place, in here. Being a Federer fan and having watched all matches of Federer and Nadal, through out this tournament, I would honestly say that Federer has very slim chances to win the French Open title, this year.

Federer lacks consistency, the one that is a strong point for him, on hard and grass courts. He does not slide and glide, as smoothly as Nadal does in Clay. Nadal is very athletic in clay, unlike Roger. Roger does not seem to be very fluent, as he looks to be in other hard and grass court tournaments, where is level of play in way ahead of others. His game does not give us any confidence that he would win in clay. Nadal looks more aggressive than Federer.

We can still say that Roger is the second best in clay, but not the best of Clay, at the moment. The king of the “grass and hard courts” should find someway to beat the king of clay. The best way to beat Nadal is to attack him aggressively, from the baseline. Roger’s forehand should be powerful and should hit the right spot and length, his backhand should be precise. His first serve percentage, should consistently be at 75 to 80%. Unless Nadal starts seeing some amazing winners from Roger’s racket, I don’t think he is going to really think big. Roger should make Nadal run out of ideas. Every new idea or approach of Nadal, should be worked hard upon to get beaten. Unless Roger does all this, he is not going to win.

A final comment from my side.

All Federer and Nadal fans here and all over the world should accept the fact that we are all kept to sit at the edge of our seats, biting our nails, expecting our idols to win, when they play against each other. Specifically, when our idol misses a shot, we get frustrated and irritated, thinking that our idol still has chances.

Having seen the players in the past 2 decades play; I would say that Roger is a more complete player than anyone in these 2 decades and Nadal is for sure, is turning out to be an equivalent to Federer, if not above. With age and fitness levels, coming into play for Roger, I am sure Nadal would find his way into the books of all time greats, in 3 or 4 years to come. We all should agree that Federer is already into that book, no matter whether he wins at Roland Garros or not. If he wins that, he would be called the greatest ever, otherwise, he would still be one among the greatest.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

JLEADER
REMEMBER WHO FEDERER BEAT IN THE LAST AUS OPEN FINALS? BAGHDATIS & GONZALEZ.
WHO DID HE BEAT IN THE LAST WIMBLEDON SF?
34 YEAR OLD JONAS BJORKMAN.
DON'T THESE 2 FACTS INDICATE HOW WEAK THIS ERA IS! IF i TRY MY LUCK AND PLAY IN THE ATP TOUR, i CAN REACH A GS FINAL. IT'S NOT BAD! IS IT!

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posted Jun 6, 2007

shariqh... Feds has the wins and complete confidence against Davydenko so can't foresee a major upset.
Also think that once Nadal' youthful confidence abates with a few losses and as other players step up to the mark with intelligent play on court,Raffa will be seen as yesterday's man.
If he meets an in-form Roddick or Hewitt at Wimbledon for instance he will be exiting shamefaced and confidence dented...the mirror crack'd from side to side...

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posted Jun 6, 2007

"Same with Nadal. Fed is well on his way to becoming the greatest player of all time. Had he not be around, Nadal would have been the first to win both a French and Wimbledon since Borg..."

That's pretty fanciful. Roger has beaten virtually everyone else on clay, but Rafa managed to avoid dangerous grass courters at Wimbledon last year ... and they somehow all ended up in Roger's section of the draw. The most dangerous of the lot was Mario Ancic, and I'm not at all convinced that Rafa would have beaten him at Wimbledon.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

First and foremost im a Fed fan, and would enjoy seeing him win the French. However, has anyone considered the possibility of Djokovic reaching the final. This guy is arguably the most improved player this year on tour and is very confident in his own ability - it could be a classic against Nadal in the semi.

I wouldnt rule out Davydenko either. The guy is a brick wall and has troubled Fed in Grand Slams before over 5 sets.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

Djokovic is looking on fire! Could prove troublesome for Nadal in the semis...
I'm a huge fan of Federer, he plays with a finesse and ease and array of shots that are unequalled in tennis at the moment. However, I'm all for a good rivalry, Grace V Brute Strength. Much as I hate to admit it, Federer is looking in unbelievable form, he'll probably take the title, thus quashing the sense of rivalry and much of the layman's fascination with the game along with it.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

But...But....I think Nadal will retire within 2 years. No matter is he is only 21....because he started very young playing in the ATP....uncle Toni forced to play when he was 14 or 15 years..so, and he is burning too much muscle....he will be retired very young....and long time for the King Fed who plays and wastes energy as he would be only walking to catch some butterflies. Five years more for Roger, at least..and maybe 2 more for el BURRO

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posted Jun 6, 2007

federer was just a kid when he beat sampras,even pistol pete could see the potential and that's why he packed it in soon after,federer will eclipse sampras!!!

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comment by Silver (U3544577)

posted Jun 6, 2007

Who did he beat in the US Open last year? Roddick. Who did he he beat in the Wimbledon final last year? Nadal. Who did he have to beat to get to said final? Henman, Berdych, Gasquet, to name but a few. Who does Federer have to fend off almost everytime he plays a tournament? Gasquet, Murray, Nadal, Djokovic, Gonzalez, Robredo, Roddick, Blake, Davydenko, Berdych, Canas, Haas.

Think about what you're saying, this era isn't necessarily weak, just because there isn't a titanic battle between 4 or 5 players at the top. An 'era's' strength should be measured in depth, rather than simply at the top.

If you take your finger off the caps button for a second, and calm down a bit, people might listen to your arguments a bit more. smiley

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posted Jun 6, 2007

I'm a Rafa Fan, but I think Roger is the best player that I have ever watch. His wrist movement is amazing... it looks so easy... However, I think Rafa will win the french since he is a really good player in all surfaces but specially in clay where he seems to be almost unbeatable.
One more thing, Rafa top spin detractors can say whatever they want, but I thing it is a superb and really difficult forehand... otherwise everybody will do it against Fed.

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posted Jun 6, 2007

Sigh...I echo these responses above to Elfenomeno. Sampras was past his prime in 2001, but Federer was not yet at his. In truth it was an incredible, awesome match. But to say Sampras had some great disadvantage is absurd, he was the four time conseuctive defending champion going into 2001, and still the no.1 seed.

As regards to the weak-era, people have already answered sufficiently. But to add one purely logical point, Elfenomeno, you're not actually dealing with the points that had been made against you, or furthering the weak-era argument. Quoting player's names and then saying 'weak-era' after them does nothing to show that those players are weak.

You need to a) somehow overcome in the inherent difficulties in comparing eras against each other, which you have provided to answer to so far, b) provide some factual basis for saying these players are weaker at all, you've provided no facts at all, c) your examples are entirely anecdotal and d) you need to explain why the trend of gradually improving standards in sports would have mysteriously been reversed just for the period while Federer is no.1.

As I say, periods of dominance some people react by claiming the era is weak, partially to try and explain away that dominance, and partially because dominance inevitably makes players SEEM weak on paper, as they logically achieve less. You are simply an example of that flawed reaction.

The only real facts we have are watching the matches themselves and hearing what those who span the eras or who have analysed throughout them say. None of these things endorse the fallacy of the 'weak-era'.

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